A Month of Sundays: Brunch at Launderette

31 Austin brunches: Launderette
2115 Holly St., Austin (map), 512-382-1599, www.launderetteaustin.com
Brunch hours: 11am-2:30pm Sat-Sun
Other hours: Lunch 11am-2:30pm Mon-Fri. Dinner 5-10pm Sun-Thu; 5-11pm Fri-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 02.12.16
We’ve stalked Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki all over town, as Ortiz led the kitchens and Sawicki held down pastries first at La Condesa, then Sway, now Fresa’s and finally this place, Launderette. Etched from a former Kleen Wash in an underserved part of town, Launderette opened in March 2015 as a “neighborhood cafe,” albeit a neighborhood where a plate of eggs and toast costs $12 and the lunch menu includes hamachi crudo and duck cassoulet. Dinner brings pâté, artisan toasts, wood-grilled octopus and hanger steak, and there’s a straightforward burger and roasted chicken for both shifts. Brunch runs Saturday and Sunday, bringing reasonably priced Bloody Marys and mimosas to this bright space that embodies equal parts diner, culinary arthouse and reclamation project.
What you’re eating
 The Americana: The English know how to do breakfast, surrounding the humble egg with broiled tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, slathered toast and a bounty of pig parts. Launderette echoes the spirit with sunnyside eggs, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, home-baked toast, thick bacon and tomato quarters with purely decorative grill stripes. But without beans and bangers, it’s a drama kid doing Monty Python. ($12)
 Fried chicken: As intriguing as duck hash or pork and grits sound, I went with the simpler brunch comfort of fried chicken. The breading is a hot, thoroughly crunchy suit of tawny armor that engulfs the two tiny chicken parts inside as if they were wearing granddad’s overcoat. Until now, I’d never have believed fried chicken could have too much crust. Citrusy slaw and good pickles offer some acidic relief. ($14)
What you’re drinking
 Aperol Sbagliato: A mimosa for the complex drinker, this spritzer brings 50 shades of orange to the prosecco party with aperol, orange bitters and Cocchi rosa. ($8)
 Watermelon shrub: A non-alcoholic blend of juice, chili basil syrup and Topo Chico that brings childlike joy, right down to the color-shifting straw. ($5)
Something sweet
 Pancakes: I suspected Laura Sawicki’s kitchen might make some of the best pancakes in town. With a feathered balance of fluff and griddled substance and a tumble of blueberries and maple, I suspected right. ($9)
 Doughnuts: On the other hand, I could have played racquetball with a hard trio of fried doughnuts filled with the least possible amount of jelly and cream. ($5)
A Month of Sundays: 31 Austin brunches
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)